Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021


RE: H.B. No. 771

H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred H.B. No. 771 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to establish a three-year surcharge on liquors.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Hawaii Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Action Group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii, SparksInitiatives, Hawaii Alcohol Policy Alliance, A Family Tree, Hawaii State Teachers Association, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Bar Owners Association; Anheuser Busch Companies; Kauai Beer Company; Distilled Spirits Council of the United States; Honolulu Beerworks; Lanikai Brewing Company; Wine Institute; Beer Lab HI; Big Island Brewhaus; Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild; Maui Wine, Ltd.; Hana Koa Brewing Co.; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Kauai Island Brewing Co., LLC.; The Odom Corporation; Maui Brewing Co.; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Maui Chamber of Commerce; Waikiki Brewing Company; and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation, Department of Health, Tax Foundation of Hawaii, and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.


Your Committee finds that the State's fiscal condition necessitates considering alternative or temporary forms of revenue. Your Committee further finds that irresponsible alcohol consumption leads to various health and social problems. However, your Committee also finds that the State already has the third highest excise tax on alcohol in the nation, and a further surcharge may detrimentally harm local businesses during a time of extreme financial hardship. Your Committee notes that further discussion should continue to determine whether this is the most appropriate manner for raising revenues. Your Committee also notes that testimony requested that the surcharge be 10 cents, if established.


Your Committee has amended this measure by changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 771, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 771, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,